FSBO Open House: Should I Host an Open House?

This guide shares the pros and cons of hosting a FSBO Open House

When you decide to sell a home on your own (FSBO), much of the responsibility that would normally fall on a real estate agent is now yours. This includes the decision of whether or not to hold an Open House. Is a FSBO Open House right for you? Learn some of the benefits, drawbacks, and strategies to set yourself up for success.

Benefits of Hosting a FSBO Open House

The bottom line is that you want to sell your home, right? When you think about hosting a FSBO Open House from that perspective, it seems like it should be a no-brainer. More exposure = better chances of selling. The vast majority of potential home buyers will be able to see your home online, but there is still a small group of people who only house shop by looking for Open House signs. Hosting your Open House will expose your home to both groups and those who are interested in viewing your home. Another benefit you’ll receive is that you’ll be able to get an honest review of your home. In most cases, it’s pretty difficult to be unbiased when it comes to home style preferences—of course you think your home looks great! But do other people? After all, your chances of selling depend entirely on someone else’s opinion of your home. Many Open House attendees will ask questions or make comments about things they like or dislike, so you’ll be able to get a feel for if your home is in selling condition or if it still needs some work. Just be sure you take the criticism professionally and not personally!

If you’re hosting a FSBO Open House, potential buyers will know that no real estate agents will be ushering them into the home and attempting to sell it to them. This can also work in your favor since potential buyers will feel less pressure in the environment. It’s probable that you’ll get more honest feedback, and you may even find a buyer for your home. Many buyers are asked to hand over their personal information at agent-hosted Open Houses, usually so the agent can follow up with them later in an attempt to gain a client. With that not being the case at your event, you may attract more serious buyers, or at least some who will be more open to talking with you.

Drawbacks of Hosting a FSBO Open House

Although hosting a FSBO Open House can be beneficial to you, there are still several drawbacks that you must consider. Believe it or not, your chances of selling your home are actually very low at Open House. Like we said before, you might have a higher chance since your home may attract more serious buyers, but your overall odds are still significantly small. This may sound discouraging, but you can still plan for word-of-mouth getting out about your home through the people that do attend your event. As long as you make use of the time (gather feedback, learn commonly asked questions, etc.), this drawback is one that can still add some value, even if it doesn’t immediately result in the sale of your home.

A sad truth that you’ll have to accept is that hosting a FSBO Open House does open your home (quite literally) to the threat of theft. This isn’t a widespread issue, but it has definitely been known to happen before. An Open House hosted by an agent may be a little safer due to the presence of an authority figure, but even those events sometimes deal with the same issue. It’s hard for you to keep an eye on all parties who enter the home (or kitchen, bedrooms, basement, etc.), especially if your event has a large turnout. Counter this threat by hiding your personal possessions like jewelry or loose money, and you may also store some of these items behind closed doors in closets or small rooms. This isn’t an issue that you need to lose sleep over, but you should definitely be aware of the possibility.

Perhaps the biggest potential drawback of hosting your FSBO Open House is the disappointment that will follow  if nothing comes of it. When you hire an agent to host your event, they take care of all the marketing and follow-up. From that perspective you may consider it their shortcoming if nothing comes of the event. However, as a FSBO, all of that responsibility is on your shoulders. Marketing the event will be difficult in its own right, which means that you’ll be putting in all the leg work to get the word out. You’ll be investing time and probably money, so you can see how it would be disheartening to find out it was all for not. If you do manage to attract a lot of buyers to your Open House, there’s also the possibility that you’ll hear some hard-to-swallow comments about your home. It’s hard not to take these personally, especially when they’re about the house you’ve loved for so long. Do your best to field the comments objectively and use them as a way to make your home more presentable or desirable to the next buyer.

Strategies for a Successful FSBO Open House

You may be feeling worried after those last few paragraphs, but fear not! By taking the right steps, you can definitely host a successful FSBO Open House. To get the most out of your event, follow some of these important steps:

  1.    Make sure your home is ready to present
  2.    Host your OH on a Sunday afternoon
  3.    Provide refreshments like cookies and lemonade
  4.    Act professional
  5.    Exchange numbers with interested parties

If you’d like even more tips on how to host a successful FSBO Open House, feel free to reach out to our team on Facebook—we’d be more than happy to assist you in any way we can!

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